ROMANY AND TRAVELLER FAMILY
Tracey Emin comes from a mixed heritage background; her father was a Turkish Cypriot and her mother was English. She knew little more about her maternal side and this was the focus for her journey. Tracey was keen to discover something out of the ordinary as she didn’t want to be too conventional. She wasn’t disappointed then when she learned that a branch of her maternal side was from gypsy stock. Tracey’s great great grandfather, Joseph Hodgkins was from the Hodgkins gypsy clan.
There are certain clues that may alert you that your ancestor was a gypsy – these could be occupations (common ones being hawker, tinker, basket maker); residences ( often gypsy families would be living in tents on census returns); mobility ( children being born in different locations) or parish records (they may state that the family are gypsies). For example on the 1851 census, Joseph Hodgkins’ children were born in different parts of the Midlands and another census return had his father, Edward Hodgkins’, occupation as “tinker”. If you do find that your ancestor was a gypsy the Romany and Traveller Family History Society can provide further information at
The website itself is a useful tool for research and provides a great deal of information about gypsy genealogy for free.